Friday, March 30, 2012

{ what would you do to save the planet? }

Earth Hour tomorrow night! Don't forget to turn off the lights. Whether you're a "global warming beliver" or not, saving energy is good. Technical science aside, I think we can all at least agree that fossil fuels are a finite resources, and after the recent nucleur plant disasters in Japan, and the fairly slow commertialsation and accessability of wind and solar energy generation, saving is the best option for now. Find out more about the movement here.

Images: Earth Hour

Wednesday, March 28, 2012

{ anthropocene }

A planet transformed by humanity. The age of the human. Systems thinking, and essential reading.

Images: Anthropocene

Monday, March 19, 2012

{ die kunste kom bymekaar - kknk 2012 }

Die Kunste Kom Bymekaar! The 18th Klein Karoo Nasionale Kunstefees (KKNK) is running from 31 March to 7 April 2012, and represents a time when Afrikanerdom decends upon the little town of Oudtshoorn. This is normally a predominantly Afrikaans town, but it's really Afrikaans during the 'fees'. That said, you don't have to be Afrikaans to appreciate the smorgasbord of entertainment, arts, shopping, rides, wine and food on offer. This is a National festival so it really has something for everyone. 

My favourite part of the festival is the pedestrianisation of the centre of town. Streets are closed to allow stalls, street art, street theatre, and regular shops move out so that artists can move into their premises. The town is transformed for a week. There is of course criticism that the "traditional Boere fees" does not cater, or provide opportunities for "die bruin mense" (Yes, the debate is that racist! Madness), but transformation at this type of event takes time, and I think they're doing a pretty good job at securing a variety of shows and events, while supporting local talent and entrepreneurs, and maintaining a high quality, particularly in the theatre category, including the Kanna Awards for Afrikaans theatre being awarded at the festival. 

So, besides the shopping tents and fringe events, I really want to check out  the shows: Babbel, and My Boetjie, My Bra. The first is a post revolution tale where language has deteriorated. The best thing, it's an open air performance, on a 'koppie' on the edge of town, with some spectacular views, looking forward to the sunset performance!  Second on my "must see list" is a cabaret, humour piece brought to us by Emo and Loukman Adams, looking forward to some serious Afrikaans humour!! Tickets for these shows are R95 and R100 respectively, and it's a good idea to book as soon as possible. Check out the programme here

Photos and reviews to follow!

Images: KKNK

Thursday, March 15, 2012

{ urban africa }

This week's website to watch is Urban Africa: News and Information about cities in Africa. Recognising that often academic writing, policy, and the implementation spatial plans, do not 'speak to each other', the main objective behind the multidisciplinary team behind Urban Africa is to "mainstream progressive debates on African urbanism through the stimulation of a dynamic online community, constituted by a diverse range of actors, dedicated to the topic of African urbanism". The site is managed and run by the African Centre for Cities (ACC), a 'think-tank' research and teaching programme based at the University of Cape Town (UCT) focused on identifying practical responses to issues around sustainable urbanism within Africa cities. Essential reading for anyone concerned about the future of our continent's cities. Join the conversation.

Images: Urban Africa 

Monday, March 12, 2012

{ cable car - venezuela }

Forget bus rapid transport! In the favela-esque settlements in Caracas, Venezuela, the solution was an airlift cable way! Brought to the area by the folks at Urban Think-Tank (see previous post on UTT here).

Thursday, March 1, 2012

{ earthworks mag }

Loving this magazine! EarthWorks, brought to us by Young Africa Publishing, is an innovative magazine that aims to "be a testament to the property and construction industry's resilience, a blueprint for its future, and a record of its progress". It proves that from big business, to local homeowners, our built environments can be more 'green', more resilient, and more sustainable. To subscribe to this quality local publication contact Young Africa Publishing here. Follow @earthworksmag on Twitter.

Good news for Town Planners is that SACPLAN is offering a free subscription to its members! Definitely something to look forward to in the post. If you're a Town and Regional Planner, and have not yet registered with your professional body, follow this link for more info.

Image: Urban Ramblings Blog

Monday, February 27, 2012

{ your land, my land }

After a mention in the State of the Nation Address, the issue of land reform is back in the public discourse. Is the "willing buyer, willing seller" model still the best way to ensure that the majority of land, particularly well located urban land and commercial farming land is redistributed in a meaningful way to the disenfranchised majority of South Africans? The case of Zimbabwe looms as a spectre of a potential future. One that the the most progressive nations of the SADC, and it's people cannot afford. When we talk about land reform we should we talking about both urban and rural land, however, politically 'land reform' (ie. the Department of Rural Development and Land Reform) is firmly, conceptually located on the rural front. For a bit of background to why land reform has not happened as quickly as it many think it should have, check out Urban LandMark, a programme focused on urban land markets, seeking means of making these markets more accessible to the poor. Lets get this discussion going. 

Image: Zapiro

Thursday, February 23, 2012

{ tasting sónar }

I know I'm doing a little overkill on the Design Indaba inspired and related posts, but this sounds like pure  electronica indulgence! The Sónar Festival in Barcelona, Spain is one of the biggest electronic music festivals in the world and Cape Town is a hosting a fringe event in City Hall! If deep beats, dirty riffs and more than a little dub step gets you pumping, then check out the 'Tast of Sónar' party will be held at the City Hall next Friday night (2 March 2012). Headline acts include Massive Attack (!!) and Modeselektor! Plus a host of other international DJs and local acts including two of my favs dubstep DJ, Fletcher, and BLKJKS. Check the full lineup here. Tickets retail for R250, but with a local and international line up like this, it's a deal! Doors open at 21h00. For updates, and more info follow on Twitter  @SonarFestival, or #Sonar2012.

Images: Taste of Sónar

Monday, February 20, 2012

{ design indaba }

The annual Cape Town Design Indaba is on next weekend from the 2nd - 4th March 2012 - Get your tickets at Computicket, or at the door, and prepare to be inspired!

For a better world through creativity!

Images: Design Indaba

Thursday, February 16, 2012

{ love your street }

Calling all urban designers, landscapers and archi's in Gauteng, or anyone to has a favourite street near the capital and ideas of how to make it better! Streets connect and have the power to change the way people experience the city. So, inspired by the Design Indaba, the Your Street challenge invites "creative proposals for how an aspect of your city's street life can be enhanced though the power of design!" 

The street you choose must be in Gauteng, but you don't have to be. And the best part? The winners will be able to actually implement their designs! According to the site, "[T]he first prize of R100 000 will be awarded to the designer that comes up with the best idea AND a sound business model that illustrates how their idea can feasibly be implemented. Three second-place winners will each receive R50 000 for innovative design solutions that can be immediately implemented using the prize money." 

Find out more about the competition and how to apply here. Proposals are due 16 March 2012 - so get designing!

Love your street. Love design. Design for social change.

Images: Design Indaba

Monday, February 13, 2012

{ living curiously }

In 2009 National Geographic launched their 'Live Curious?' campaign. As a result of watching copious amounts of the NatGeo Channel, I've had this phrase stuck in my head for the last couple months and have decided to appropriate it as my theme to live by for 2012! Find out more about the 'Live Curious' campaign here and see cool videos etc. Simple and beautiful:

If you are, you breath. If you breath, you talk. If you talk, you ask. If you ask, you think. If you think, you search. If you search, you experience. If you experience, you learn. If you learn, you grow. If you grow, you  wish. If you wish, you find. If you find, you doubt. If you doubt, you questioned. If you questioned, you understand. If you understand, you know. If you know more, and if you want to know more, you are ALIVE!!

Live Curious.

Tuesday, February 7, 2012

Thursday, February 2, 2012

{ green city index: africa }

The Siemens Green City Index evaluates sustainability of cities based on 8 environmental and service capacity categories, namely: Energy and CO2, Land Use, Transport, Waste, Water, Sanitation, Air Quality, Environmental Governance; comparing cities on their overall environmental performance. The most recent addition to this study is African Green Cities Index, which evaluates compares 15 major African cities, have a look at the rankings here. Johannesburg, Durban, Cape Town, and Pretoria all feature, with first three falling into the "Above Average" range, and Pretoria categorized as "Average", probably due to it being the highest generator of waste (!). The study provides a great overview of each of the cities studied. Check out the .pdf here.

Monday, January 30, 2012

{ to the streets! run jozi }

Taking back the streets! The Nike We Run City 10km campaign is the epitome of urban cool. The idea of running through downtown Jozi, at night with thousands of other people sounds really awesome! Two problems though, I’m nowhere near Jo’burg and I highly doubt I’m physically capable of running a 10km… However, if these reasons for nonattendance don't apply to you, sign up here, race entry costs a mere R50: Students, and R70: Open, prices include a bright yellow branded t-shirt, a running clip, and registration, it’s a deal.  The organisers aim to rally 10 000 runners, so sign up now! Just do it.

Thursday, January 26, 2012

{ nerd love }

I was once told to live a little and reach for my inner child. So armed with a bubble gun at a music festival I did try my very best, but if I had this little number, I wouldn't have had to try at all! Came across these adorable recycled cardboard towns on Apartment Therapy. They remind me of my first cardboard doll's house meets SimCity (the original DOS version)! The paper towns are inspired and based on small town Poland, much retro-ness,  and come complete with playgrounds, fuel stations, fountains, and even vehicles. Sadly the company that sell these adorable Paper Towns, Papierowe Miasto, are only shipping them in Europe, but there must be a similar alternative around about. Eyes pealed! 

Thanks to Bianca from The Tailored Life for the linkshare! 

Image: Apartment Therapy.

Thursday, January 19, 2012

{ planning africa }

The 5th Planning Africa Conference will be held in Durban on the September 2012.  Organisers describe the conference as "a key knowledge exchange platform for policy makers, development practitioners, planning specialists, and researchers involved in 'space making'." Celebrating ten years since the conference it's inception in 2002, the event promises to be even better than before. Closing dates for abstracts is 20 Feb 2012! Find out more on the SAPI website here.

Tuesday, January 3, 2012

{ happy new year - live curious }

Happy New Year! Took a long walk on the beach with a new old friend and chatted about resolutions and new beginnings. Whatever your plans for the year ahead, don't hold back, get outside, find your balance, find your voice, share it with others. Live curious!